Work to start on Cardiac Centre at WGH

Work to start on Cardiac Centre at WGH featured image
Patients in South Cumbria will soon benefit from new cardiac facilities at Westmorland General Hospital (WGH), thanks to an investment of over £1m.

The Morecambe Bay Cardiac Centre at WGH offers services such as Diagnostic Coronary Angiography, which involves taking an x-ray to diagnose conditions such as angina and the fitting of permanent pacemaker implants. Every year, the centre welcomes in excess of 1,000 patients.

The investment will see the current specialised cardio-vascular imaging equipment replaced and the full refurbishment of the Cardiac Catheter Lab Theatre Suite where the above procedures, plus Permanent Pacemaker Generator change and Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy pacemakers (CRT-p/ Bi-Ventricular pacemakers), are carried out.

Alison Capps-Nevett, Lead Radiographer for Morecambe Bay Cardiac Centre, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “The multi-disciplinary team at Morecambe Bay Cardiac Centre is really looking forward to working in the newly equipped and fully modernised Cardiac Catheter Lab. The innovative specification of this specialised cardio-vascular imaging suite will provide extremely detailed x-ray images of the heart within a fabulous ‘state of the art’ theatre environment which will be a great space for our team to work in and more importantly, for our patients to undergo cardiac procedures in. We take great pride in the quality of specialist care provided by our dedicated team, and this investment will enhance the experience our patients receive, and provide assurance that the Cardiac Catheter Lab here at UHMBT is, quite simply, of the highest specification and standard currently available.”

Whilst work is being undertaken, appointments and procedures will move to a mobile Cardiac Catheter Lab, which will be located near the Dunmail entrance from 9 March and will be operational from 20 March to mid-July 2017.  The Dunmail entrance will remain accessible to patients who are on foot or being dropped off by car. Alison, continued: “We are extremely pleased to have secured the provision of a mobile Cardiac Catheter Lab here at WGH. This first class facility will ensure that the Cath Lab service can continue to be delivered to our patients, to our usual high standards of care and expertise, at the same hospital site, and with minimal disruption to our patients and staff for the period of the refurbishment.”

Patients booked for Cardiac Cath Lab procedures have all been advised of the relocation of the Cardiac Centre to Ward 2 Level 1 WGH. The change of venue for their cardiac procedure will be explained upon their arrival at the ward. During the work, ambulance and patient transport will also be diverted to drop patients at the main entrance where wheelchairs will be available for patients should they need them.

Access to Helme Chase will be unaffected except on Wednesday 8 March where access will be via the main entrance only. All women due to give birth on or around that date will be contacted directly to let them know, and there will also be clear signage in place. The WGH Clinical Investigations Unit will remain open in the current Cardiac Centre for the duration of the works, with no changes to patients’ appointments.

Morecambe Bay Cardiac Centre was commissioned in early 2003 as part of a New Opportunities Fund project to increase Cardiac Catheter Lab provision nationally. It opened at WGH in April 2004, bringing a specialist service to the Kendal site. Prior to this, patients travelled to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for Cardiac Catheter Lab procedures. The number of Cardiology Consultants has increased at the Trust since 2004 from two Cardiologists, to a current total of six.

If patients have any queries about appointments during the refurbishment work, they are asked to contact the Medicine Division at the Trust on 01539716547.
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